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Life cycle assessment of earthen materials for low-cost housing a comparison between rammed earth and fired clay bricks

Hamed Nouri (Department of Civil Engineering, Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran)
Majid Safehian (Department of Civil Engineering, Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran)
Seyed Majdeddin Mir Mohammad Hosseini (Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 10 June 2021

307

Abstract

Purpose

Although the use of diverse types of bricks as the primary construction materials has been considered for many years, vernacular earthen materials are also widely used for construction with low potential environmental impacts in developing countries. In this study, the life cycle of two types of building materials for wall building is investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

For this purpose, life cycle carbon emissions (LCCO2) are compared and embodied energy calculation for rammed earth and fired clay bricks as two construction materials. The complete construction chain using rammed earth, as a modern norm, and fired clay bricks, as the most common construction materials in buildings, is investigated in this research.

Findings

Studies on the constructions in Kashan city in the north of Isfahan province, Iran, as a case study, showed that replacing the fired bricks with rammed earth would reduce the CO2 emissions up to 1,245 kg/ton and 4,646 MJ/ton (i.e. more than 95%) of the embodied energy. It also shows that the choice of building materials should be important for building practitioners to consider the environmental impact.

Originality/value

This paper provide life cycle assessment of building materials. The findings of this study help builders and owner to choose sustainable building materials.

Keywords

Citation

Nouri, H., Safehian, M. and Mir Mohammad Hosseini, S.M. (2021), "Life cycle assessment of earthen materials for low-cost housing a comparison between rammed earth and fired clay bricks", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-02-2021-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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